Entrepreneurship Vs Self-employment – Know The Differences

Posted: May 25, 2016 in Uncategorized

A lot of times we do hear or read about the benefits of being self employed/entrepreneur. In fact, this seems to be the best concept to wealth.

But not for once have I ever knew that there is a difference between self-employment and entrepreneurship not until I started reading business articles and books, listening to great business consultants – the likes of Fela Durotoye, Kunle Soriyan, Brain Tracey (these are my most favorites and role model) and so on. Then I sat down thinking every night, am I an entrepreneur or self-employed?

Many of us never look deeply into this and we usually mistake one for the other because they seem synonymous to us. Self employment is you working for yourself probably as being a contractor, a freelancer or you owning your business. The U.S dictionary defines entrepreneurship as “the art or science of innovation and risk-taking for profit in business. With this definition, I believe we are beginning to get an insight of how different these two are. After all my thoughts, I personally decided to regard entrepreneurship as INGENUITY.

Now, what is ingenuity – it is the ability to solve difficult problems, often in original, clever and inventive ways. The way Bill Gates single-handedly revolutionalize the way we use home computers is an excellent example of ingenuity and entrepreneurship.

Two distinct variations of business owners are the entrepreneurs and the self-employed. Categorically speaking, most people fall under self-employment and not entrepreneurship. One major difference I see in the two is  that one has a bigger scope and vision than the other. Let’s take  a big look at them

First, being self-employed, you have people who are working for you but being an entrepreneur, you have people who are working with you and not just under you.

In self-employment, you employ people to work for you while the whole mission, vision and progress of the business lies on your shoulder but for an entrepreneur, you have people working with you – you are the boss or d director or C.E.O or whatever you tag your post but you and your staffs forms a team and you work as a team, they bring you ideas and innovations.

This is why two things illuminate the differences between self-employment and entrepreneurship;
1) For the self-employed, they have to go to work all the time regardless of the amount of staffs they have. If they don’t, the  business will simply stop. It might not stop on that day, but if theit absence is consistent, as days roll over, there is possibility of the business flopping. For an entrepreneur, it is not so. The business keeps going even with the absence of the boss because he has those who knows and understand his vision and can run things successfully in his absence
2) For self-employment, if the owner decides to retire, then that is the end of the business. If the owner dies, the business dies as well. For entrepreneurship, the business outruns the existence of the owner because his/her workers are working him with hence, they understand the vision, mission and value of the business but for self-employment, the workers are working for him, hence, all they do is just to sell the products and services – they don’t understand the mind of the owner.
Take for example, Apple Inc., even after the death of Steve Job, the business still moves on (and didnt change to being open source) but can you remember that there was once a newspaper called Concord in Nigeria? Where is it today? If those working with Steve Job did not know the vision of the business, will it stil be existing?

Think about this – “do you want to build a business that can sustain itself and be valuable enough to sell to others (this is the mind of an entrepreneur) or simply create work so you can pay your bills (this is the mind of self-employed)?

Secondly, entrepreneurs are Global thinkers. They see business in larger scale than the self-employed. The self-employed does not want to go beyond his/her vicinity or do something new because they are scared of taking risk, they are scared if it’s going to work out or not, so they prefer to be on the safer side but Entrepreneurs are risk-takers – he knows how to manage and control risk, he deals well with his procurement and thinks massively.

An entrepreneur understands that there is money to be made and more benefits to  had when you serve others on a larger scale. They think globally and identify needs and frustrations to serve the masses and continually further their market reach so they are always seen in the international market more than the self-employed. Take for example Jumia (a Nigeria e-commerce organization) and someone who opened a shop to sell his goods. His shop is in a particular place for the reach of those around and not for those far away from his shop’s location but Jumia can bring this  same goods at is being sold to you wherever you are – they are meeting the needs of those far away.
So I see Jumia as an entrepreneurial organization as theu are meeting the needs of masses and  now Jumia is known internationally. Jumia now  extend.their services to other west africa coutries like Ghana, Kenya and the likes. This Jumia and the shop owner who sells the same things have the same mission (to sell) but different vision (to reach globally)

A business can be small, but when you start to think like an entrepreneur and not just someone who owns a business but someone who runs a business, then you will have the zeal to grow and not stay at a point.

Lastly, entrepreneurship is believed to be a key determinant of the economic success of a country. Self-employment could be selfish at times when most of your thought is about just your wealth. An entrepreneur also thinks about his wealth but he creates something that will benefit others and thereby bring in wealth for him – it is mutual not selfish.

Same goes to a Nation.

A nation that invest into entrepreneurship strengthens theit economy. There is more of exportation to importation and the nation is known in the global market. Similarly, entrepreneurs in a country also enhance the country’s economy. When you hear of Apple inc., you think about America. When you hear of Tecno, you think of China. When you hear of Samsung, you think of Korea and so many examples. With due respect and love, for the sake of improvement and not condemnation, when we hear of our country, Nigeria, what do we think?

It is not that entrepreneurship is not practice in Nigeria but it is done on a very small scale and this has limit our mentality and thinking. When most of we Nigerians hear about entrepreneurship, we delve our mind into soap making, shoe polish making, how to fry doughnut For sale and so on.

Please don’t get me wrong, these things are very excellent but our intelligence and skills can still be broadened than these. Let’s see soap making, bead making and the likes as one sector of entrepreneurship which I believe is now being thoroughly taught but can we also look at another advance section of entrepreneurship? Can the government please help to invest into our intelligence. Thanks to those Nigerians who learnt how to develop inverters ans solar generators – this is a very good example. Imagine this project has being invested on, then we won’t have to import any of these things.

Our schooling does not matter but the education given to us, so regardless of being a graduate or not, there are people, creative people out there with high intelligence who are looking for chances to use their abilities. Government investing in this advance entrepreneurship will change the country from just having mechanics but mechanics who can make cars, computer engineers who can make mother boards, phone repairers who can make phones and their panels, textile industries that  can turn wool to clothes and not just only tailors.

Imagine us importing toothpicks, cotton buds, matches and so many little things when it is not that we don’t have the resources.Nigerians who have the opportunity to support this type of entrepreneurship should please do so. I so much love Innoson motors – at least we now have a company producing Nigeria made cars (entrepreneurship) and not just Nigeria companies selling cars (self-employment).

I am not condemning those selling these things but can another set of people also learn to produce these things?  There are so many other things we can still create ourselves. If the government can, we citizens can and at  the same time, we should believe in ourselves and not condemn things that we make. Encourage ourselves by buying our own things most times. Let’s believe we can and yes we can!!!I believe we are now enlightened about the differences in being an entrepreneur and being self-employed. Own your business and think wide about it, take constructive risks, read business articles, learn from the successful ones.

Don’t just own your business -RUN IT

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